My husband left his Bible out and open to the book of James on the desk in our office. I pulled it closer to me and started reading.
Being only a few weeks away from giving birth to our 3rd baby, I found it interesting how James mentions birth in Chapter 1.
…each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” – James 1:14-15
This is not a very pretty correlation to birth, however, it was relevant to me as I am currently pregnant with our child and have experienced childbirth. As I was reading it, I thought about the process of birth and raising children, but I also thought about the process of sin in our lives and how it can grow if we are unrepentant.
I thought we could talk about sin for a minute.
The first thing that stood out to me in these two verses, was that it said, “…each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” So often we want to point the finger and blame someone else, we will even blame satan. But, how often do we acknowledge that we have our own desires that lead us to temptations.
I know when I place the blame it helps me to avoid looking internally at my own heart. If something is someone else’s fault, I justify why it wasn’t my fault. The truth is that sometimes confronting my heart is painful. I don’t like seeing parts of my character that lead to sin. However, if I remain unwilling to evaluate my heart and character, those parts are given room to grow.
The first thing this passage revealed to me, is that we need to be responsible for our desires and actions. We need to be willing to acknowledge that it is our own desires that are luring us into temptation. With the acknowledgment of this truth, we should be intentional to evaluate our hearts and character to weed out those roots that have a stronghold on us.
Then James moves into the process of sinning. He mentions that when desire is conceived it gives birth to sin. Every one of us have experienced this process. We think about something we want and then we devise a plan to get it. The verse continues, “…sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
This is the part I really want to acknowledge today. In order for something to be fully grown, it means that over time it has been nurtured and fed. It has been sustained. I want us to evaluate our lives to see if there is any sin in our lives that has been given freedom and providence to grow. This is so vital, not only for our relationships with God but also for our marriages.
If we let sin continue to grow in our lives, it brings forth death.
I have personally seen sin almost destroy my relationship with God and with my husband. I was unrepentant in my anger over circumstances, and unrepentant in other areas of my life where I was letting sin grow. I had desires that were luring me into temptation and I sinned. Repentance and apologizing to God and my husband was the key to reconciliation and the key to weeding out those desires that were leading me to sin.
I have also witnessed the growth of sin in other people’s life lead them to death. Their choices led to consequences of painful suffering. Heart-wrenching suffering…not just for them, but for their families. Others, I have witnessed the death of their marriages or brokenness in their family relationships because of the growth of sin.
The growth of sin is the daily choices to feed the desires that lead to sin. It is the going deeper into those sins. It is an unrepentant heart.
If you feel like your relationship with God is dying rather than flourishing…
If you feel like your marriage is dying rather than flourishing…
If you feel like you are dying rather than flourishing…
I challenge you to confront your heart and your character. I challenge you to evaluate the desires you have. I challenge you to repent of any sin you find. This may be a painful process…but not nearly as painful as what you will experience if you allow growth of sin to lead you to death, whether the death of a relationship or actual death.
My hope is to encourage you today and bring light to the truth of God’s Word. God’s Word brings life to us. It is important that we know what His Word says, believe it, and apply it to our lives. This is wisdom.